Be still, my beating heart (no, seriously, slow down).


Adventures in inappropriate sinus tachycardia.

After ten minutes of walking around the grocery store with a mostly empty cart, I was already exhausted.  I went to a concert last night after a long, annoying day at work, so I was pretty sure that was the reason, but since I have an arrhythmia, I decided I better take a quick peak at the activities of the old ticker to make sure.  My resting HR hovers around 100 BPM, but it doesn’t always jump when I become active.  When it does though, I get tired, clammy, and dizzy.  I’m pretty good at getting myself seated before I faint, so that doesn’t happen anymore.  That 131 BPM that I saw on the screen wasn’t shocking, but it was unwelcome.  I’m fairly certain my condition isn’t a big deal, and, hey, I know I’m lucky my heart beats at all!  IST can be a day-ruiner though, for sure.  My sodium intake is down lately, since we’re on a low-salt kick in my house, so that may be contributing.  I’m glad I stopped to take a look, because the minute of sitting gave me a little break, but it got me thinking uncomfortable thoughts about possible surgical remedies.

With that being said, has anyone out there in Internetland gone through with sinus node modification/ablation to remedy IST?  I’ve got next to no fear of surgical procedures, but I’m afraid of the potential outcome on this one.  Do some people really come out needing pacemakers after partial ablation?  Oy, that’s something I don’t want.

When I smarten up and get myself health insurance again, a trip to my electrophysiologist in in order.  I’ve always told him I didn’t want to talk about surgery, but I’m thinking it’s time to at least consider it.  For now I’m just sitting around thinking, “wasn’t I supposed to grow out of this? ”

It’s not that big of a deal, but if it can be fixed, I think I’ll take it.

FOCUS!: A Rant About People Who Want to Hurt My Evo

I recently got my beloved daily driver back from the body shop. Fortunately for my frequent passengers (I like to refer to you as “navigators” as the world is my rally) you’re already used to my parking decisions – because this experience certainly did not render me any less neurotic about where I leave my car. Good thing you’re already used to the walk the store from my parking space being longer than the drive was.

The damage to my car didn’t occur while parked, though. Due, in no small part, I’m sure, to my very protective parking procedures my precious has never possessed a careless shopping cart scratch or a door ding on her Tarmac Black skin. She did, though, receive slight minivan burn when I happened in the way of some guys U-Turn (me = right-of-way, him = blind, perhaps?). I’ve never had to deal with a car insurance company other than signing up and paying the bills – now that I have I certainly don’t recommend the experience. Since the other gentleman was at fault and was cited at the scene and the whole bit it was suggested by my insurance company that I make a claim against his insurance. Since his insurance company wasn’t really there to represent me – the person who had never paid them any money – they weren’t happy and smiley when dealing with me. Recorded statements, adjusters out of town, lack of communication – a whole lot of non-fun was had by yours truly. I have my car back, though, and now it’s time to get protective again.

So, today, I’ve already been cut-off twice. Twice on the same road – but by two different cars with the same name. More on that later.

When dealing with the friendly Florida Highway patrolman on the side of Bruce B Downs that day I said something that, as of today, I’m sure must be wrong. I was angry – sure – but I was calm, not screaming, doing my best not to cause any more of scene. This representative of Florida’s Finest noticed this and I told him, “It’s not like this guy is happy this happened. Nobody wants to get into an accident.”

They do, though, at least today. They want to be slammed into at highway speeds by a black Evolution. I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS! In fact – I’m confused, dismayed and generally ticked off to the point of over-italicizing! What happened to defensive driving? I’m not talking about driving slowly and allowing 20 car lengths – I’m talking about driving as if you don’t want to be turned into a vehicular pancake! Why not wait to enter traffic until there is enough space between cars that no one has to slam on their brakes from 55mph to avoid your rear bumper? Do you really want to take the chance and hope that I’m paying attention and not sending an email on my Blackberry while changing my radio station, putting on eyeliner and lighting a cigar? What if I wasn’t super paranoid about keeping my car beautiful and wanted to slam into you to prove some sort of point? Why not show some love for your own car and your own precious time – after all, that whole FHP, insurance, body shop experience was not fun! On top of that, I now know from experience that YOU would be the one getting cited and YOU would be the one having your insurance rates go up. I don’t drive defensively ‘cause I’m a pussy or because I don’t know what my car is capable of, I pay attention because I care about myself, my time, avoiding hassles and, oh yes, I care about my Evo. Not everyone else is paying as much attention as I am.

Perhaps the name of the car you pick to drive implies something about you? Those two cars that cut me off both had the name “FOCUS” in silver emblems across the back. Good thing I do. Maybe their drivers should, too.


We Don’t Need No Water

I pulled into the parking lot of the strip mall the cigar shop is in around noon and the first thing I noticed was that a minivan had pulled into the fire lane directly in front of the door. This really pissed me off for a few reasons and, I’ll be honest, the first was not a reason involving fire trucks. It had more to do with the driver’s sense of entitlement. There was no disabled hang tag displayed and he didn’t have one of those license plates with the little wheelchair guy pressed into it – so I was pretty sure he was just lazy. I was completely sure when I saw him hop out of his car and bounce into the shop. Dude was probably in his mid 50’s but you could tell he didn’t care what people thought about his age. His grey, wiry curls were sprouting unkempt from his horseshoe and the few hairs he was saving on top of his head were just sticking up every which way. I drove on and parked the behemoth of a vehicle I’m driving while my precious Evo is being repaired in a proper parking spot.

I think the true reason I was so surprised and angered is because I haven’t seen anyone commit this act in such a long time. I suppose that’s actually a bright spot.

By the time I made it to the front door Mister Fire Lane was done with his purchase. I opened the door and was a little surprised that he didn’t say something like “after you.” I don’t expect people to hold open doors for me but the truth is that it usually happens, especially with older gentlemen. This was no gentleman, though and, also, no fashion expert. While holding the door open and with the guy directly in front of me the first thing I noticed was the he was wearing boat shoes with no socks, sweatpants and a polo. These sweatpants were the bad kind, too. They had the elastic at the bottom – and he was utilizing those stretchy bands to hold the bottom of his pants about 3 inches above his ankles.

I noticed his shoes first because I was looking down trying to avoid eye contact. This sounds terrible but I was actually kind of miffed about the fire lane thing and I didn’t want to convey that with a disapproving glare.

As he walked out the door he pointed at my feet and said something to me. It took me a few seconds to process it but as he climbed into his car cackling like a wild man I realized what he said.

“You have a hole in your shoe.”

I was wearing my favorite Crocs – the Mary Jane variety – and I did, indeed, have a hole in my shoe. Several, in fact and on both feet.

He thought this was the funniest thing he had ever said. He probably says it every chance he gets.

Now I’ll never forget this guy – but he’ll never know how pissed I was about the fire lane.